BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – The Waldorf College women's soccer team saw its season come to a close in a 2-0 loss to Oklahoma Wesleyan University during Saturday's Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) Tournament semifinal.
"It's always difficult when a season comes to an end," Waldorf coach Casey Curoe said. "Oklahoma Wesleyan is a decent team and when we expose certain holes in our game, they take those opportunities."
The Eagles (10-8) scored twice in the opening half. Kaka Delahaye turned in the first goal in the 24th minute off an assist from Karen Storie. Ana Popov added Oklahoma Wesleyan's final goal during the 27th minute.
Sophomore Taylor Reeves recorded three saves in net for the Warriors (7-11-1), who entered the conference tournament as the No. 3 seed.
Oklahoma Wesleyan outshot Waldorf 17-3. All three shots from seniors Katie Greener, Jennifer Geil and junior Victoria Arenas were on goal for the Warriors while the Eagles finished with eight shots on target.
The Eagles advance to next Saturday's MCAC championship against No. 19 Bellevue University (15-1) at Omaha, Neb.
Leading up to the semifinal, Waldorf's players put in extra preparation to face the second-seeded Eagles.
"The team worked extremely hard the last week of practice on patient defending and composure and we displayed that well," Curoe said. "We didn't get the shooting opportunities that we usually do, and when you spend most of the game defending, it's difficult to keep every shot out of the back of the net."
The loss ended the careers of Greener, Geil, Taylor Earl, Kaylee Carson, Kaylee Vitale, Madisen Haines, Airenne Curry, Melanie Cameron, Kiana Uribe and Lauren Schryver. The 10 seniors served as leaders while guiding a young and talented group of underclassmen.
"It has been such an enjoyment with this group," Curoe said. "They had so much passion and drive, that they never gave up."
After a tough start to the season, the Warriors continued to battle. They never backed down and put together four shutout wins in conference play.
"It was overall a hard-fought season and I couldn't have been happier about that," Curoe said. "For a team to have so much fight when we were down, it shows a lot about their character."
Returning a solid core and enduring the ups and downs against challenging competition throughout the year should provide an edge for the Warriors next season.
"The team has gone through a lot of adversity this season and it should develop strong mentalities for next season," Curoe said. "I am already looking forward to next fall with a strong group of returners. Now is the time to get to work."